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I always feel self-conscious posting in Linux-related forums, being the n00b that I am... Anyway, I've been unable to connect to our Ubuntu 8.10 Server using a VNC client; SSH works just fine, but VNC times out. I see that the default VNC server on Ubuntu is something called Vinagre; is that not compatible with VNC? (FWIW, been trying to connect from a PC with VNC Viewer, and from a Mac with COTVNC.)
Any suggestions/resources to fix this or perhaps start over? TIA!
No; turn it on in Ubuntu and it should add the connection, especially since it is included as base. The only way a firewall will get in the way in this course is with a 'custom' firewall (custom? can't be the right word...).
Just to set my mind at rest, you are sure you've started the VNC server?
You said "our" server. Is there an administrator or is that you? If there is an admin they may need to grant some permissions to your account. If not, here are a few Ubuntu VNC quirks...
Ubuntu, as installed, does a share desktop/remote desktop thing similar to Windows. If there is no monitor and keyboard on the server you need to have an account automatically logon - then you can remotely access that account's desktop.
On the server from the panel (menu) choose System; Preferecnces; Remote Desktop and make sure that sharing is allowed. Then System; Administration; Login Window - look at the Security tab and "[X] Enable Automatic Login" for the account with which you wish to connect remotely. I think that should do it. If all else fails, open a terminal window on the server and type "sudo vncpasswd username" where username is the account which you will use to connect to the server. I don't think this is required for the plain Ubuntu desktop sharing - I have not used it for a while. This was required when setting up VNC on Red Hat and I do it instinctively - needed or not.
If you change the VNC server from Vino to x11vnc for example there are a lot of configuration options which are unavailable with Vino. Let me know if you are using something x11vnc as I have some good instructions for setting it up. I use it and it seems faster than Vino (which is quite a resource hog).